ALCOHOL and the gut.
I thought I better do a write up about alcohol as I know this will effect many people (myself included).
We all need to unwind, de stress and relax in this crazy world we live in (especially at the moment) But how much is this effecting our gut bacteria?....
Unfortunately for us who like to have a drink its not great news, alcohol increases inflammation in the body in particularly your digestive system.
In large amounts, alcohol and its metabolites can overwhelm the gastrointestinal tract (GI) and liver and lead to damage both within the GI and in other organs. Specifically, alcohol and its metabolites promote intestinal inflammation through multiple pathways. That inflammatory response, in turn, exacerbates alcohol-induced organ damage, creating a vicious cycle and leading to additional deleterious effects of alcohol both locally and systemically.
But what about drinking in smaller amounts and choosing specific alcohols that may not cause such an upset to your gut bacteria?
There are alcohols that don’t effect your gut bacteria as much as some, with the top of the list being red wine. Red wine is full of antioxidants (polyphenols) and can even help decrease inflammation, help with cholesterol and even reduce obesity. There is even studies that have shown that people that drink red wine everyday have a more diverse range of microbes compared to people that don’t drink at all. Red wine is used in a Mediterranean diet and this diet is known for being potentially the best in the world as Mediterranean’s live longer and are happier then western populations. It is even common for Mediterranean’s to have a glass or 2 even at lunch time, have a siesta then go back to work then have more wine with dinner! Sounds like a great life to me and proves to be one of the best lifestyles and diets in the world with many studies showing they are least inflamed then anybody else, there is clearly merit in their lifestyles…
In my studies over the years I have also stumbled across that the Tequila may be one of the better alcohols to consume as well… there is some merit to this but there is not as much studies out there done on this to make it as good as red wine. Most of the research I have seen has shown there is potential to this claim, but the type of tequila is very important in this. It has to be 100% agave and usually the clearer ones are better then the dark.
Unfortunately though for anyone with severe candida issues its best to completely stay away from alcohol all together, at least until the candida overgrowth has completely cleared, then introducing red wine and maybe tequila rather than getting back on a yeasty beer straight away.
This is all really bad news for me as I love beer! I know its not great for me but I make sure I stay away from yeast and sugar in all other parts of my diet as much as I can so I can have a few beers and not throw my gut back into candida overgrowth, I seem to manage this ok.
I think its also important to note the brands and types of alcohol’s your having also…I have only organic beer and wine without preservatives. There is such a good range of organic alcohol’s on the market now and without preservatives also. I buy an organic biodynamic wine that is very low preservative, I also buy a organic all natural beer with no hidden nasties. This all really helps in your gut bacteria and definitely helps with hangovers. I think if your going to drink these are certainly the things you need to be thinking about. When I switched to organic and low/no preservatives I noticed a huge difference in how it was making me feel, which speaks a lot.
Alcohol seems to be apart of most people’s lives, I wholeheartedly believe in everything in moderation, enjoying your life, living in the moment and sometimes this involves alcohol.
If you don’t have to drink, then kudo’s to you, but don’t feel guilty with having a drink, this world is hard enough without enjoying yourself amongst it all. Obviously there are times were you need to listen to yourself, your gut and body and need to stay away from alcohol, I think when being in touch with yourself, your mind and your intuition it will guide into what you should be doing.